Plinky.com asked me to describe the worst teacher I ever had.
It was hard to think of many of my teachers who fell 'below grade'; I've been blessed by a great childhood and fantastic schools – which show up positively even to this day.
I thought of the maths teacher who lost control of the class so much that I had to teach myself for two years. I thought of a primary school teacher who yelled at me for cutting too much paper off the big roll in the corner. I thought of the home economics teacher who slammed me for breaking a sewing machine.
But in the end, I'll go with the history teacher whose classroom was in direct sunlight most of the day and who never opened the windows. Fortunately, I was only in her class for one year. My anticipation of it being a 'bad' experience had been built by the teacher's formidable reputation, egged on by my sister who loved telling me horror/war stories.
This teacher's classroom was filled with the scent of her own BO, which was bad enough, coupled with that of her students. History was on Monday afternoons, when the stench and heat had had good time to build up. I dreaded those lessons – irrationally – to the point where I couldn't sleep on Sunday nights, often tossing and turning until the early hours of Monday morning.
So it was one particular Monday afternoon, with the heat and sweltering BO pressing in on my exhausted 13-year-old self that, during a discussion of some medieval footnote, I felt myself beginning to pass out. I heard her say "Vincent, are you…" and then my head hit the desk with a THUNK! shocking most of the class back to attention.
I got to go down and see the school nurse, and lie down for the rest of the lesson.
History had never been as good as it was that afternoon.